Thursday, January 12, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - I Don't Need It

Figuratively Speaking- Quick Sketches #11
My grandson asked if he could go to a cafe with Mimi (me) and Papa for a bagel snack for his birthday celebration, since we were going to miss being with him on the assigned day.  We had a wonderful time at Spring Hill Cafe in Oregon City.  It has a growing wall inside (fun) and an art gallery.  After devouring a chocolate croissant the size of his head and a bagel, we walked around the gallery and talked about the art.  He loved a piece with parrots on it and some little handmade sketch books.  I asked him which one was his favorite and he didn't hesitate to grab the book that caught his fancy.  I said we could get it and he could use it to carry with him to sketch (something he likes doing).  He put it down and said to me, "Wait, let me think about it."  He decided not to get it; his reasoning was that even though he wanted it, he didn't need it.  He is only 6, and very wise.  Go figure!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - Twists and Turns

Quick Sketches #9  -  Graphite on Paper
I have been out of my studio in New England for more than a month, spending that time with my grandkids on the west coast.  We experienced an unusual snow event and had snowball fights and built some pretty adorable but wimpy snow people.  We played games, took long walks, visited museums, sang songs and danced around, built magical kingdoms and did a lot of drawing, painting and art projects.  My life was filled with love, hugs, kisses, and creativity but no painting of the type I do for myself.  Drawing is a segue for me back into painting.  In drawing with my 6 year old grandson I noticed he approaches his subjects like a contour drawing.  His eyes follow the Twists and Turns of the edge of whatever motif he is looking at.  He constructs "made up" drawings with large geometric shapes that represent the feeling of the posture of his subject.  These both seem like fairly sophisticated approaches to drawing and it will be fun to see if this develops into an obsessive interest, like his Grandma has.  Capturing both an interesting representation of an object and the spirit in the drawing is really the challenge.  I think that comes with letting intuition instruct and practice inform....a bit of inspiration applied to a formula.....go figure!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - Procrastination Occupations

Quick Sketch #9 Waterfalls  -  Graphite on paper
It can seem so sweet and practical that voice of procrastination.  "Clean the refrigerator, especially those crumbs under the drawer that no one will ever see and while you are at it, clean the entire kitchen, reorganize the pantry and then go out to the studio."  So, a few hours later and feeling like I have accomplished much, I head out to the studio and am feeling a bit uneasy about what to work on, and whether I am equipped to do a good job when my friend, procrastination reminds me to sweep and dust the studio so I can have a calm mind to proceed.  Honestly this conversation can go on and on and I can indulge this cleaning muse until the stars come out.  The logic is unfailing.  The reward is tangible, but the problem is that ultimately it is motivated by my own insecurities. Until I face those, I will not be able to create.  Creating is what satisfies me, gives me a voice that often surprises me, and creates a bridge from what needs to be done to what is possible. Go figure....

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - More Good Habits


So many habits - good and bad - crammed into such little time....brushing teeth, changing clothes, exercising, eating healthy foods, talking to loved ones, planning for the future, entertainment, feeding the intellect and then there is creating.  Creating is made up of a lot of little habits and a bit of inspiration.  Sometimes it is all too much!  January is one of the 30 in 30 day challenges months and I have been traveling and now am catching up, planning for classes and starting new commissions, finishing up projects that weren't completed in 2016.  One habit I want to get better at is quick sketches so this is the perfect project for me for January 2017.  Since I am just getting around to posting today, the attached sketches represent days 1-8.  I am trying out the new pencil I got for Christmas which is a mechanical lead holder (5.6mm, grade 2B) purchased through "Art Alternatives."  I love the pencil so I am motivated to test it out.  I am just doing the sketches in a little sketch book and I am not spending much time on them.  These first drawings are just to get a feel for the pencil.  I hope to develop to the point that by the end of the month I have a few really good drawings.  It is all about developing good habits - go figure!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Figuratively Speaking-Innocent Delight

6"x6" oil Sold
             I visited my neighbor today who gave birth to a beautiful baby girl this weekend.  She is perfect, soft and miniature!  There is something so unique about being around a newborn.  They are so fresh and unimprinted.  When they look around there is a surprise and wonderment in their eyes.  That seems to slowly change over time as we get older and more aware of the ins and outs of how the world works.  Still there are those moments of astonishment that can catch the most cynical of us with "Innocent Delight."  I believe it is a worthwhile mission to seek that out, whether in others or by looking for the miracles in the way life and our physical world are created.  I will be with my grandkids on Christmas morning and I am looking forward to their delight that the cookies have been eaten and mystery behind the pretty wrapped packages.  I would love to hear about your moments of innocent delight and I wish you many more!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Figuratively Speaking - Sisters

6"x6" oil  SOLD
The thing about sisters.....where do I begin?  I am blessed with 4 sisters and several more almost sisters.  They each are unique, individualistic, self assured, talented and opinionated.  I am second in line, got hand me downs (which I never minded) was the most rebellious, and was always in awe of one of my other sisters.  My older sister, is one of the most generous and giving of women I know.  She is also hard headed, creative, imaginative, evasive and stronger than she realizes.  She has always loved books and reading which is amazing because I remember my father teaching her how to read and it was a painful process.  It was so painful, I decided I would learn on my own!  The same thing happened when we started to drive.  There were times when we just butted heads, and she knew, better than anyone,  how to get me to cry. But,  there have been more times where we have been best of friends.  All of my sisters are creative and beautiful.  Linda paints and knits.  Barb sews and gardens and raised 7 kids.  Sharon makes beautiful handmade cards and never forgets an event, anniversary, birthday or holiday.  Patty could be anything she set her mind to.  She is a natural at interior decorating and fashion (neither of which I know anything about).  Then there is Mary who is smart and so, so funny and Brenda who is sweet, smart, organized and full of surprises.  I don't think any of them read my blog, but I love them all and am OK saying it to my little world of which you are included.  Let me know who is special to you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Figuratively Speaking - Take a Moment

8"x8" oil SOLD
This is always a hectic month.  I am not sure how you avoid the hustle and bustle but I do know that taking a few moments on a regular basis to just breathe is a great idea.  Some of the ways I take it in is to take a walk, especially in the woods, do yoga, swim, and of course paint.  However, those things only work if I am willing to let everything else go and just be in the moment.  I am curious how you relax and regain sanity.  Do you read a good book or listen to or play music?  Let me know!
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